Some things are spectacularly more fun to photograph than others and one of those fun things is botanical gardens.
We stumbled upon this gorgeous garden outside of Las Vegas and fell in love with it! It’s Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden. This garden was full of cacti and succulents and plenty of other plants you won’t find in Ohio.
This botanical garden sits outside of the typical tourist parts of Las Vegas. We stopped by after renting a car to go to the Grand Canyon. If you are not doing anything outside of Las Vegas besides this botanical garden then you can always take an Uber/Lyft over to it. The biggest plus of this botanical garden is that is lies on the property of the Ethel M Chocolate factory. After walking around the garden we stepped inside to find watch the chocolate factory production (there is giant windows allowing you to watch most of the production) as well as a gift shop where you can buy fresh chocolate. I got a brownie that was the absolutely chocolate heaven.
The whole experience was fantastic and I highly recommend it! If you are interested in a couple tips and tricks for this location and other botanical gardens then keep reading!
Explore all of the garden
To get the full experience at a botanical garden it is so important to go down the little side paths – you’ll never know what one off, beautiful plant or view you might find.
To make sure that you find all the little side paths and hidden walk ways make sure to download a map if available before getting to the garden. I advise saving it to your phone in case the signal isn’t great at the garden which is not unlikely!
Also, take your time. Of course the photography part is fun but make sure that you are taking time to appreciate some of the beautiful plants that this planet has to offer. Plus, people work very hard to maintain these botanical gardens so take a minute to appreciate them!
Look at the plant names
Nothing is worse than getting home and looking at pictures and not being able to remember the name. Take a quick picture of the plants name so you can properly label the pictures or just have the information. Hey, maybe you will fall so in love with a plant that you want to get one for your own backyard.
Also because some plant names are pretty entertaining and can be funny.
Check out these 10 funny plant names if you want a good laugh!
1) Take as many pictures as you can. It’ll be hard to sort through them/ determine if they are good while you are at the garden. So try to just take as many as possible and have a blast looking through them and picking the good ones out when you get home.
2) Lighting is so important. Part of this is going at either the start of the day or the end. Either way make sure you have plenty of light available but going in the middle of the day could lead to harsh sunlight. Too bright of sunlight will wash out your pictures and cast unwanted shadows.
3) Play around with angles. Unlike photographing humans, with plants you can try different and fun angels without risking anything being unflattering or illogical. Do not be afraid to stand over the plants for a picture or get down to ground level. I promise there will be others doing the same thing and you will not look out of place or strange!
4) Make sure to get close up photos of individual plants that catch your eye as well as wider angles of multiple plants. If you do go during sunrise or sunset, having the sun in the background can lead to beautiful pictures.
So how do you find a beautiful botanical garden to photograph or simply explore?
You can, of course, google “botanical gardens in INSERT CITY” but I find my preferred resource for finding these gems is Pinterest. Pinterest offers you the opportunity to see what other travelers have found and more honest travel guides and lesser known locations. Pinterest can also provide ideas and inspiration from fellow travelers / photographers / literally anyone for places within a garden, best time of the year, and logistical information such as hours and admission cost.
* this one has free admission, whoop whoop!
This is my personal favorite picture from our whole trip to Las Vegas! It was taken right as the sun was setting and it created a beautiful and airy image.
I hope everyone gets a chance to check out a local botanical garden – or better yet, one in a different region to expose you to plants and scenery that you can not see in your day to day life.
I would love to hear any recommendations for botanical gardens that myself and everyone else should check out.
Have a fantastic day,